Note-Taking Mode and Academic Performance in Two Law School Courses
69 J. Legal Educ. 207-229 (2019)
23 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018 Last revised: 27 Dec 2019
Date Written: March 4, 2018
Student use of computers in law school classrooms has become commonplace, especially in the last decade. Yet, studies in other higher education settings have found an association between note-taking mode and academic performance; specifically, using a computer to take notes is associated with negative academic performance outcomes.
This study endeavors to assess the relationship between note-taking mode and academic performance in the law school setting. We compare the academic performance of handwriters to laptop users in two required, doctrinal courses as well as the effect of exposing roughly half the students in our analysis to a memorandum explaining the possible pitfalls of using a laptop to take class notes. We find that handwriting class notes has a positive and statistically significant impact on academic performance in these two law school courses, supporting findings of the benefits of handwriting class notes in other higher education settings.
Keywords: Legal Education, Note-taking, Academic Performance, Laptop Use, Handwriting
JEL Classification: C01, C02, I21, I23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation